Thursday, July 18, 2013

Looking for Tassels in the Cornfield

Farmer Fred received an email from our Pioneer Seed Dealer reminding him that the average frost date in our area is September 21.
It seems like a grim reminder on a mid-July day. 
The email went on to explain that the corn should be tasseling by August 1 in order to be mature by September 21. Will the corn make it? This has been a season full of questions. The answer is that we don't know, yet.
The tassel on a corn plant will grow from the center of the stalk after all of the plant's leaves have unfurled. 
The last protective leaf looks especially tender and spiked at the top as it emerges from the stalk. 
 Inside the leaf the tassel is nearly ready to emerge on this plant.
The corn will then begin to form cobs and mature.
We need rain. If we get rain and warm temperatures follow, there is an excellent chance that the corn will ripen before it freezes. The leaves are lush and dark green, this corn is doing fine, so far.
July is a season of watching and waiting in GriggsDakota.


  1. I was amazed to see corn tasseling here (upstate NY) already. Normally, it is much later (August) before I see it.

  2. I love how you share the reality of farming. We're like sitting ducks right now with our Luffa field, Thankfully our frost dates are normally out as far as November.

    My husband told me if you walk into a corn field you can hear it grow, like a popping sound. I thought that was the neatest thing ever. You're field looks amazing and I pray you beat the frost! -Carole at West Family Farm

  3. The corn in South Texas didn't make this year at all. Not enough rain and way too hot...some days over 102...
    An interesting year indeed...